☛ Vijay Devarakonda named brand ambassador
Film actor Vijay Devarakonda has come forward to be the brand ambassador for Swachh activities and among other issues, create awareness on water conservation. Revealing this, GHMC Commissioner, Dana Kishore said over 16 crore litre water was being wasted every day in the city. “Actor Vijay Devarakonda has evinced interest to be the brand ambassador and create awareness,” he said.
☛ No change in Kashmir policy: US
The US has said that there is no change in its policy on Kashmir as it called upon India and Pakistan to maintain restraint and hold direct dialogue to resolve their differences. “No”, replied State Department Spokesperson Morgan Ortagus when asked by reporters on Thursday if there has been any change in America’s policy on Kashmir.
The US policy has been that Kashmir is a bilateral issue between India and Pakistan and it is up to the two countries to decide on the pace and scope of the talks on the issue. “And if there was, I certainly wouldn’t be announcing it here, but no, there’s not,” Ortagus said in response to a follow up question.
☛ ‘Cancel licence of doctors conducting two-finger test’
As many as 1,500 survivors of rape and their families submitted a letter to the apex court on Friday demanding cancellation of licences of medical practitioners who still conduct the “two-finger test” despite a Supreme Court ban.
The letter was submitted by Rashtriya Garima Abhiyan (RGA), a survivor-centric forum with more than 12,000 survivors of sexual violence and their families. “The test was banned because not only does it violate a survivor’s right to privacy, but also because it is unscientific and tends to be used as evidence in court to shame the survivor of previous sexual history.
☛ ‘Diplomatic Outreach’ programme in Vijayawada
Admitting that his government had taken some “controversial decisions” in its first two months in power, Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Y S Jaganmohan Reddy on Friday, however, maintained that everything would enable a win-win situation. The Chief Minister was addressing a ‘Diplomatic Outreach’ programme with envoys from about 30 countries to pitch Andhra Pradesh as a favourable destination for investments in different sectors. “We will stand as a role model in corruption-free governance and we have even enacted a law in this regard. Some of the decisions we have taken were controversial also. That lingers on,” Jagan noted, referring in particular to the review of PPAs. Explaining the rationale, the Chief Minister said it was a “bold decision” to bring down power tariff for industries so as to attract more investment.
☛ US lists India under illicit drug producing countries
US President Donald Trump has designated India among the over 20 major drug transit or illicit drug producing countries.
In a memorandum to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Trump said that a country’s presence in the list was not necessarily a reflection of its government’s counter-narcotic efforts or level of cooperation with the United States.
The countries identified in the list are Afghanistan, The Bahamas, Belize, Bolivia, Burma, Colombia, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, India, Jamaica, Laos, Mexico, Nicaragua, Pakistan, Panama, Peru and Venezuela.
☛ Industrial production growth slips to 2%
Industrial production growth dropped to 2 per cent in June, mainly on account of poor show by mining and manufacturing sectors, according to official data released on Friday.
Factory output, as measured by the Index of Industrial Production (IIP), had expanded by 7 per cent in June 2018.
There was a slowdown in the manufacturing sector, which grew at 1.2 per cent in June as compared to 6.9 per cent a year ago.
☛ E-mobility to be rolled out in phases
The National Electric Mobility Mission will be implemented in phases based on the feedback from auto industry, Union Minister Arjun Ram Meghwal said on Friday.
The Minister of State for Heavy Industries promised all support to the auto industry on policy matters to ensure smooth and efficient transformation of the automotive industry from internal combustion (IC) to electric powertrain.
He informed that three lakh electric vehicles have already been sold under the FAME India Scheme. The minister said a provision of Rs 10,000 crore has been made for electric mobility in the Union Budget for 2019-20.
☛ BCCI comes under NADA finally
Ending years of defiance, the BCCI on Friday agreed to come under the ambit of the National Anti-Doping Agency, a landmark decision that makes Indian cricket’s governing body a sports federation as per government norms despite being financially autonomous.
Sports Secretary Radheshyam Jhulaniya, who along with NADA DG Navin Agarwal met BCCI CEO Rahul Johri along with the Board’s GM (Cricket Operations) Saba Karim here on Friday, said that the Board has given in writing that it would adhere to the anti-doping policy of NADA.
“All cricketers will now be tested by NADA,” Jhulaniya said. The implication of this development is expected to be massive as BCCI now becomes a designated National Sports Federation (NSF) and will face more pressure to come under the government’s Right To Information (RTI) Act.